The Uneven Impact on Households
Edited by Ray Forrest and Ngai-Ming Yip
Chapter 15: Concluding Discussion – Where to Now?
Ray Forrest The dominant message flowing from the preceding chapters is that a socalled global financial crisis has had widely varying impacts across the world in relation to both institutions and households. There is not a simple continuum ranging from severe to minimal impact, but it is evident that the experiences of homeowners in Iceland or Hungary contrast strongly with their counterparts in, say, Australia and the Netherlands. At the same time, for the moment at least, it seems that predictions of a pervasive and structural crisis in the global economy were premature, as were concerns about large-scale hardship and property losses among homeowning households. However, taken collectively, the chapters suggest the need for considerable caution in judging the level of pain that may ultimately emerge. It remains too early to say, with the potential for further economic disruptions, and with the effects of the 2007 crisis continuing to ripple through economies, labour markets and housing systems. The other general comment concerns the organization of the chapters in this book. We gave considerable thought as to how best to group the various country analyses, hoping that some clear thematic principles would emerge from the discussion and debate at the associated symposium. This proved elusive, or, more accurately, explanations and analyses are rooted in combinations of factors that encompass local institutional structures, policy histories and practices, demographics, tenurial structures and developmental paths. This latter aspect posed a problem for many of the authors in providing an explanation and exploration of the...
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